Tag Archives: Crochet

My Handmade Wardrobe

Spring has begun to spring here in the UK and I have very much had spring cleaning fever (by that I mean clearing out all the junk that none of us needs). It started off as quite fun but I am now at the point where I have had enough and the house still does not quite look like I would like it to. Hey HO, I shall persevere.

With As part of my Spring clean I decided to tackle my clothes. To be honest I am a bit fed up with my clothes. I don’t know whether it is an age thing or I have not updated recently but I just don’t feel excited by many of my outfits now. Sorting through them I did notice that I have a lot of greeny/browny coloured clothes. I always thought that I was quite a colourful person but it seems not. This is something that I will have to consciously address over the next few months.

I did sort out quite a few things to get rid of (including some smelly running tops that my husband will be so pleased to see the back of). As May is rapidly approaching along with the challenge started by Zoe called me-made-May  where you pledge to wear your handmade and upcycled clothes as much as you  declare, I decided to take photos of the things that  I have made so that I can truly see what clothes I have ready for the May challenge. (Last year I thought that I would have made loads by now…..)


This was my first ever knitted item that I made when I was a teenager. It is incredibly warm and only worn when I want a bit of comfort.


This poncho was the first item I made on my return to knitting.


This Angel wings ‘Bolero’ is a favourite of mine. Nice and warm but not too bulky.


This falling leaves jumper looks amazing on.


This is a wrap dress that is the first item of clothing I made from cloth as an adult.


My first pair of trousers.


A jersey top.

I also have 2 pairs of socks, a scarf and three shawls. I wear the shawls the most.

At the end of last year I thought that I would manage to make 1 item of clothing a month. I have failed on this target so far although I have a cardigan that is nearly finished (buttons and ends) and another one well on its way. I also have the pieces cut out for another jersey top so if I get my skates on, I am not that far off my target after all……I have just not finished one a month.



A mountain or a mole hill?

I made a real meal out of my latest crochet project. I managed to make a couple of evenings work (at the most) last about a month! No joke.

It all started with this lovely pattern:

Source – Thanks to notsogranny

Notsogranny posted it on Facebook where my sister-in-law saw it. She asked how hard it was and I immediately saw a solution to the what-shall-buy problem and offered to make it for her.

I duly set off and bought some lovely yarn and a sparkling new hook. (I had a hook but wanted to treat myself!) As it was a hat the tension was not important and so I didn’t bother with a tension square.

Mistake Number 1!

All was going well until Joanne pointed out that it looked like a child’s version. Just to be clear here my sister-in-law is not a child!. Luckily I  had 2 skeins and so was able to start again without ripping back. I did a quick measure of tension and, surprise, surprise found out that it was far too tight. I figured that I really needed to go up a full hook size. Unfortunately I didn’t have one and so went up half a size and made a real effort to keep the tension loose. (Bang went my lovely new hook :()

This went well except that now the brim was……wait for it……too big!.

Mistake number 2

This was ripped back again. I went back to the original hook and re-did it. This time it was perfect 🙂

From the top

From the top

...and from the side.

…and from the side.

In case you are wondering this is not a difficult pattern and I do urge you to have a go. It is really wearable and looks fab on. Perfect for the current cold snap we are having.

I will definitely be taking the time to swatch in the future!



Well hello everyone. It has been a long time and I have missed you all.

The excuses:

I have increased my hours at work (rather drastically). All the work that I do at home tends to be on a laptop and the last thing that I feel like doing is firing up another one. However this weekend the urge is too hard to resist. I am returning.

Older and wiser

I cannot promise that I will post regularly but I figure that some is better than none and I will definitely be a better person for it so here I am. 🙂 I am going to try to be a little less obsessive and more relaxed. We shall see…….

So what have you missed?

Duhh. LOADS. Obviously! I shall not bore you with a very long post now but catch you up over time. For now here is a little taster:

  • I have knitted a couple of top-secret knits for notsogranny that were very enjoyable. Hopefully  they will be coming out soon so I can share them fully. One involved stranded knitting which meant that I had to learn knitting with yarn in both hands:Oh I am so proud of myself!         Source
  • I have re-committed to  running stumbling around the London marathon for the charity mind.        
  • I have rejoined the local running club.
  • I have started to teach 4 children to knit.
  • I made a dress! (yes really)
  • Currently I am crocheting this hill top hat (again by notsogranny) Hill Top Hat

So, enough for now methinks. What about you? What have you been up to?

Crochet Art Project finished

Remember the Crochet project that was going to Chelsea flower show that never did? Well we have completed it and it had its first showing this weekend. I am totally stunned by everyone’s work, right from the beginners to the expert.

We had one brief – to produce something that depicts what helps to keep us mentally healthy. Mine was obviously running:

2014-06-04 11.20.37


2014-06-04 11.21.49I love all the birds in this one – the writing took ages but it is really effective.

This next one is possibly my favourite. It was completed by complete beginners, at the beginning of this project non of them had picked up a crochet hook at all before!

Here they all are. Isn't it amazing?

Here they all are. Isn’t it amazing?

Here are all the others. It amazes me how different they all are despite having the same starting point. I really hope you enjoy them:

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Here they are on display at the weekend:

This is the lovely lady who organised it all, Joanne Scrace (notsogranny)

This is the lovely lady who organised it all, Joanne Scrace (notsogranny)

Please notice the time for tea one on the left – the amount of detail is amazing considering the lady who made this considered herself a beginner a year ago!

The one on the bottom right is also a panel that I have not photographed before.

The one on the bottom right is also a panel that I have not photographed before.

We all had so much fun doing this. The sense of achievement was amazing too. A huge thank you to Joanne. Already looking forward to the next challenge. x

A Virtual Hug

I have just read this post from Notsogranny. At the end I wanted to give her a huge hug. I so recognised the feelings that she was experiencing, in fact I had been so caught up in my own ‘problems’ that I had failed to see how she was feeling. (Bad, bad friend).


It is no secret that this has been a tougher than usual week for me and, yes, I had let myself get a bit melodramatic and caught up in it but perspective is a funny thing. I view Joanne’s life as a real achievement, something that is to be aspired to but failed to recognise that her life, like mine has its ups and downs too. Yes she has a wonderful family, built up an amazing business around her teaching, designing, tech editing and producing but there are times when burn out happens to her as well.

Not So Granny


We all get so busy, caught up in all sorts of amazing, exciting opportunities that sometimes it is hard to step back and remember who we are and what is truly important to us. My illness should not really come as a surprise as I had been saying for a little while that something needed to give. It turns out that this is my health!  I am a firm believer that everything that we encounter makes us who we are. I may have started today morose but I am not going to end it that way.

Last night I got out my wire and had a go at doing some wire hearts. I had a play and enjoyed myself. I relaxed a bit.

This is the biggest heart.

This is the biggest heart.

A middly sized heart.

A middly sized heart.

A tiny heart.

A tiny heart.


That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything that I have been doing recently. I have. A lot. But I do push myself. Constantly. I am always trying to learn new things and take on something new. Even this week, when I was ill in my bed I ‘took the opportunity to have a go at Viking Knit’. Hmmm yes, even when ill I am pushing myself.

The beginnings of a Viking knit

The beginnings of a Viking knit

So, going forward I am going to try to step back a bit, and take a bit more time. I am writing this here so you can all remind me. Starting from now. I don’t think that I am going to defer my marathon. I may not be preparing in quite the way that I expected, or even, be able to quite achieve what I wanted to but I am not an elite athlete. I am going to go out there and enjoy myself. It is an experience that I am going to enjoy. I had a *cough* big birthday this week. Life is for living in the best way possible for you in the here and now. I am going to try to remember this. Always.


If you are having a wobble for what ever reason then please accept a hug from me. Life is busy, it even gets in the way but whatever you are doing try to enjoy it. xx

Not much to show :(

I may have slightly over exaggerated with the title as I have nothing to show at all for the last two meetings of the Chelsea flower show project. I do however have a lot of ideas all in my head – honest 🙂

As for the others….well they are storming along.

2014-01-29 09.46.24

This makes me realise just how big 1 metre by 1 metre actually is (huge!)

2014-01-29 09.53.33Some words that have been produced for one.

2014-01-29 09.53.16Just look at that tree… you cannot see it but it is real texture. I love it.

It seems that I have a lot of work to do…..


The challenge is on!

Last week at the crochet group for the Chelsea flower show garden those of us who could crochet were given a different challenge – we have been asked to produce a crochet panel, 1 metre by 1 metre in size to hang around the edge of the screen. Wow. I am both excited and in awe.

I drove away and my head was completely buzzing with it all. I have a basic idea as to what I am going to do… The idea is based on the work of the artist Rob Ryan:


Although I don’t ‘do’ pinterest I have started a board, collecting together some ideas and techniques that I may just use. You should also get some idea as to what my panel will be about. You can find it here. I hope to keep it up to date with my progress so do keep popping back 🙂

Oh and did I mention that it has to be all in black?

The Chelsea Flower Show and crochet!

In my last post I hinted on some very exciting news concerning the Chelsea Flower Show (which, if you didn’t know is a very big deal here in the UK, the queen goes and everything!).

You remember the botanic project  where we crocheted plants and lichen? Well this time we are going slightly bigger. A designer that is based in Cambridge and has had a design for a garden approved contacted Joanne and asked if she would be interested in taking part in its creation. She of course said yes and, in due course, so did I. This week was our very first session where we found out all about it.

Now I am not very sure how much I am able to divulge here so shall have to ask at our next meeting. The designer works for a charity called Squeaky Gate. This link will take you straight through to the page which explains the garden theme in a lot more detail.

The theme is based around the issues of mental health:

– they are looking to include loads and loads of 2p pieces to represent the cost to the government caused by mental health

– there will be a pool

there will be blackboards

– there will be a huge structure 4 metres high covered in crochet letters

This is a prototype made by Joanne.

This is a prototype made by Joanne.

The black boards and the letters are going to include tips about how you maintain your mental health. Having suffered from post natal depression this subject is very dear to my heart. I firmly believe that the more we talk about it the less the stigma and the easier it will be for people to speak up and ask for help. The things that work for me are very clear to anyone who reads this blog – running and crafting are the things that keep me sane.

Do you have any tips that we can include? I tell you we have an awful lot of space to cover with words …..

These are some of the letters that we have come up with so far:

We have a very long way to go....

We have a very long way to go….

So that was 2014……

I cannot believe that I am sitting here on the very last day of 2014. In equal amounts it seems ages, but also no time at all since I did this a year ago.

2014 the year that saw

a break in blogging (boo, far too much work :()

a very nasty chest infection (which caused me to miss running the London Marathon 😦 )

less crafting than I would like ( again I blame the work).

On a more positive note it saw:

Probably the thing I am most proud of in 2014.

In my eyes my biggest crafting achievement of 2014.

Another thing that I am very proud of was this headline that appeared in a local newspaper:

How teacher Alice, of Burwell, battled postnatal depression and won – and will run the London Marathon for Mind

Source thanks to Cambridge Evening News

I was finally able to talk about my experiences with Post natal depression.

Here are a few more:

I also learnt how to knit colour strand using both hands (something else that I am proud of.)

So what about 2015?

– more blogging (I hope).

– more running (I need to do the marathon this year or I lose my chance)

– I need to get on top of WordPress as during my break they changed things and I am not sure that all the posts I have written have actually been published :()

– dressmaking

– a bit of knitting and crochet along the way.

Here’s to a lot of adventures and great things for 2015,

Enjoy,   Alice.xx


2013 – The best bits.

I always admire posts on blogs that show a round-up of the best bits at the end of each month. So that is what I have decided to do for this, my last post of 2013. It may take me some time but I am quite determined. I hope you will enjoy it:

I knew that it would bring back a lot of memories for me. I think that I had the most awesome 2013. I am so hoping that 2014 will be as amazing. I am already excited about a couple of things that are on the horizon so do stay tuned.

happy new year 2014Background image from here.